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Applied assumption

  1. Aug 30, 2005 #1
    For us to have a theory of everything, will we have to study every single inch of the universe?
    I mean how can we know we have a theory of everything, when we don't know the whole universe.
    For all we know there could be a different set of laws somewhere else, billions of light years away.

    Or maybe a pocket somewhere, where particles stop being "rational" and "normal."
    I mean there are many possibilities, at least now.

    So my point is, does this mean we can safely say we will never have a theory of everything unless we explore the entire universe?
    But then again if the universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate, we will never reach the end, as such we would have to assume about what is "out there" where we can't reach.

    Unless there is a safe way to say like, "we know x1, therefore unknown factor x2 cannot exist."

    Any comments?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2005 #2
    I think we need to look at "theory of everything" as being different from "everything". So, I do not think it necessary to explore "everything" in order to have a "theory of everything"--for a theory is "nothing more than a set of abstract principles purporting to be either a correct description of reality or a set of guidelines for man's actions" (Ayn Rand).
  4. Sep 29, 2005 #3
    Not necessarily.
    If the 'perceived universe' is a hologramic dream, like the Mystics, the Metaphysists, Quantum machanics tells us, studying the 'dream' does not 'awaken' us to it.
    We don't gain 'perspective' by focusing on an 'object', on a 'fiction'. A reasonable 'Theory of Everything' (ToE) is that we are Dreams who 'dream' our universes into 'being' within our own minds, that Consciousness is the 'Ground of All Being' as QM says. This is as close to an explanatory 'ToE' that has ever been proposed, and seems to answer all the 'hard' questions that other 'hypotheses' cannot. Actually, within this hypothetical framework, most of the 'hard questions' become meaningless, 'wrong questions' born of ignorance.

    (Quoting Rand is rather 'iffy' as she has been successfully refuted in many places. Google it up. But, thats another thread.)
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2005
  5. Sep 30, 2005 #4
    I think this would be a matter of confusing a map with a territory in some sense.
  6. Oct 1, 2005 #5
    Maybe we should call the Toe the Theory Of Eveything We Know About. That would solve your problems :P

    im actually serious though, because your right 2 inches out of my perception time might be running backwards, but id never know. we can only apply the Toe to everything we know and can only formulate the Toe from everything we know, soooo...the toe doesnt need to be re-evaluated until we find something we didnt know about. Does that make sense, lol?
  7. Oct 7, 2005 #6
    Yes, if someone starts such a thread on the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand to show where her thinking has been "refuted", I would be interested in hearing the logical arguments presented. For those with interest in what Rand had to say about philosophy I suggest this site:
  8. Oct 7, 2005 #7
    She isn't worth her own thread.
    For those who would rather not waste their time on such a fatally flawed philosophy such as Rand's, a very good starting point might be here,Critique of "The Objectivist Ethics"
  9. Oct 7, 2005 #8
    QM does not say that; your ideas of Consciousness as the "Ground of All Being" are one concievable explanation of why QM says what it does say.

    And a theory is not "explanatory" if it renders the questions that it is meant to explain meaningless. If you would accept a theory of everything that renders questions meaningless and thus avoids answering them, I propose "Questions are meaningless." as the perfect TOE. Alternatively, I could go a step farther along this road and take your apparent position, "There is no reality."

    Which, I'm sure, fits all the criteria for a scientific theory and would be wonderful at predicting physical phenomena.
  10. Oct 7, 2005 #9
    You are in error. The quote of the "Ground of All Being" was not my invention. It came from QM. I found it by reading on the subject. This is also consistant with the findings of other disciplines, besides, so I find it intellectually attractive. If you read a bit, you'll find it also. You certainly don't have to agree with it, but you WILL find it.

    Ant true 'explanation' will render some previously posited questions, meaningless. You can discuss, hypothesize, examine, form theories of and experiments as to determine where the sun is 'plugged in'! After all, all of the lights in the house have to be plugged in somewhere, why not the sun also, after all, it similarly emits light? And gets unplugged at night! Perhaps positing a 'God' to do the plugging and unplugging?
    Then one day, we learn about nuclear fission, hydrogen turning into helium, etc... I think that would make the whole 'Plug Science' irrelevent. I guess that people would be loathe to relinquish questions that have such a great investment of time and thought; emotional ties, ego, etc... But yes, learning a truth makes many questions, no matter how seriously they have been taken, irrelevent. That is science. Get over it. Whats with the emotional attachment to 'questions'?
  11. Oct 7, 2005 #10
    ...No, I'm not in error. You are in error. As I said, it is one possible interpretation; "reading on the subject" will get you information "on the subject", but you can't catagorize all of that information as the subject itself. If I read "on the subject" of elephants, I will undoubtedly come across some information pertaining to zoo management. Does this mean that zoo management is part of an elephant? Is the zoo a part of the elephant?

    The quote "Ground of All Being" came from someone talking about QM. QM itself is largely composed of mathematics and science to the exclusion of eloquent forays into the philosophy of consciousness. Theories relating to QM, interpretations of QM, and possible implications of QM are where the information you are using comes from-- not QM itself.

    The possibility of questions becoming obsolete through knowledge does not provide an excuse to stop looking for answers; in your sun example, research into the "plug source" of the sun leads to the revelation of the question's meaninglessness. You, however, are positing a theory that is apparently rather unscientific, using the possibility of "incorrect" questions to justify its inability to answer any of them. You tote it as "reasonable", and laud it in the highest terms, but you provide no logic as to the justification of your opinion. You continue to call it "reasonable" in the context of a scientific theory, but it contradicts much of current scientific thought, has no apparent physical evidence, and looks pretty untestable. In fact, I don't think it can technically be considered a "theory" at all, at least not in its present form.
  12. Oct 7, 2005 #11
    Im sorry that the words that I am using are making no sense to you. That doesn't mean that they will not make sense to someone who is ready to hear them. We'll just have to agree to disagree about this. I see no benefit of going around and around in circles.

    My quote was from one of the few greats of QM. A quote like this from a genius is as acceptable to me as the gruntwork of the technicians might be to you. The genius is in the hypothesis, not necessarily in the technical gruntery of the 'line worker' technician. The technician works 'for' the theorist. Theory comes first. Then feel free to prove or disprove. If I want to learn about QM I'll talk to someone like my neighbor (then) Richard Feynman (ever heard of him?) who said that "Quantum mechanics comes on as so off the wall that only a Mystical state of mind can even begin to probe its mysteries", rather then some mediocre mind sequestered away in a lab somewhere. But, you'd probably argue with Feynman too.
    As far as I am concerned, you are arguing with me from egoic ignorance. I cannot help you. And, since you probably feel the same way about me, we'll just have to part friendly here on this subject. My feeling is that if you pick up any science magazine or book in 15 or 20 years, you'll perhaps, remember this conversation... On the other hand, I can pick up a history book to find your opinions (Torquemada, for instance). So, if you have nothing positive to add (have you contributed anything positive in our exchange?) then ... Peace..
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2005
  13. Oct 8, 2005 #12
    It isn't that I do not understand your words, but that they are incorrect. You are proposing as a "reasonable" scientific theory a jumble of pseudo-science and vague postmodern attempts at philosophy; your "theory" has exhibited no evidence of being testable, measurable, or of even having the support of any physical evidence (all the more so because your theory does away with physical evidence in the first place)!

    And I could give you plenty of Einstein quotes, even about fields in which he worked, that are not true; a quote from a "great" in a given field is not enough on which to base a belief system or from which to claim some egotistical "special knowledge" of the subject. What you are proposing has, thus far at least, not been shown to have any basis whatsoever-- and whether it has basis or not, the current idea is not a theory in any sense, and should not have been put forward in this thread in the first place.

    My "positive contribution" in this thread has been the correction of a hitherto baseless assumption's presentation as a "reasonable theory of everything". But your belligerence (and, of course, my unwillingness to ignore it and allow your false statements to stand) have drawn this out into a discussion that no longer belongs in this thread. You can throw in another spiteful little post that insinuates my inability to understand/accept your grand and lofty concepts, but I'm not going to reply here. I'll be in the thread on existence, and if you have any further insults (or, perhaps, actual validation for your arguments) I shall reply to anything posted there.
  14. Oct 8, 2005 #13
    Your opinions have, I'm sure been noted.

    A perfect description of arrogance. And you have 'corrected' nothing, a mere juvenile egotistical arguing with everything is not a 'correction' oh Master.

    Have a nice day.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2005
  15. Oct 8, 2005 #14
    My first comment is not to do with the TOE but to do with assumption and that comment is "assume nothing"... as in... don't assume anything. Yah? Ser gut!

    If you've lived long enough you've begun to realize you cannot assume a bloody thing. In fact, as an infant you had a better understanding of this fact.

    In most cases what you see... isn't what you get. What you think... is wrong. And what you feel is continually changing anyway so, give it up and relax.

    What you have been able to discern from your brief existence as a human entity (with a brain that is shackled by the need to survive as a physical entity) who is somehow manifest in the brief existence of a universe (that is shackled by the continued functions of checks and balances that allow it to survive as a universe) what you have been able to derive from all of this is that something's going on. That's about it. It might be a safe assumption to say just that... "something's actually going on". Beyond that your guess is as good as anyone else's.

    In fact, the more you try to categorize, pidgeon-hole and quantify each and every "pocket" and "event" of the universe, the more those ideas of yours will be proven true...... for you.

    If you convince yourself that what you have materialized or manifested with your "thoughts" on the nature of the universe are the way it "really" is... as in the theory of everything as applied to everything and everyone, you are about to be already are and continue to be dissappointed.

    My remedy for this continuous search for a structure or formula that explains the universe, be it relative or quantum, localized or non-localized is to shut-up and observe. Stop thinking and start feeling the changes. Learn to navigate without a map. You'll find the best way to do this is to find yourself first. Its like going on a motor-trip around Europe without a vehicle if you havent found yourself and you want to find the theory of everything. Because... believe it or not, you are a part of everything.... and in each case... you are the more important component because you are your interpreter.
  16. Nov 5, 2005 #15
    Sorry, but this web site is a poor attempt to falsify Rand's theory of ethics. It is not even authored, and from what I read the author has little understanding of the complex issues involved in Rand's theory of ethics. For those that want to read what professional philosophers have written on Rand's ethics (to counter all of the false arguments presented by this internet blog), I suggest the following:
    Uyl & Rasmussen, 1984. The philosophic thought of Ayn Rand, U Illinois Press
    Merrill, 1991. The ideas of Ayn Rand, Open Court Pub. Co.
    Sciabarra, 1995. Ayn Rand, the Russian radical, Penn State U Press
    Peikoff, 1991. Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Dutton Books
  17. Nov 5, 2005 #16
    And when you've learned even more, you realise that everything we think we "know" about the world is founded on assumptions (or premises to use an alternative word) - thus "assumption" is the bedrock on which everything else sits.

    I would rather say "what you think you see, may not be what is actually the case". In other words, epistemology is not ontolgy. But to act as agents in the world we must take a stab at anchoring our epistemology at some point - thus we make assumptions.

    I agree with most of the above (except it is not the case that any guess is as good as any other). But then what do we do? Just turn over and go back to sleep? The only release from this "mortal coil" is death - until that time we act as agents in the world. To act as agents in the world we must take a stab at anchoring our epistemology at some point - thus we make assumptions.



    Are you claiming to have reached a greater understanding of the world by "stopping thinking, and feeling the changes"? Can you impart this greater understanding to anyone else, or is it purely personal and subjective?

  18. Nov 5, 2005 #17
    Sounds like solipsism to me. This could be "right" of course, but I doubt that many will agree with you.

    BTW - QM does not "say" that consciousness is the ground of all being. This is but one possible "interpretation" of QM - there are many other different interpretations.

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